Copyright arbitrage

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I love this story from David Pogue in the NYT. A company, Zediva.com, has found a way to stream movies over the Internet at DVD rental prices. How? By actually renting the DVD. It is just that they don’t send it to you. They put it in their own player and let you play it and send you the signal. The only thing different from you renting the DVD yourself is the length of the cable (or whatever) from the DVD to your TV.

It will be interesting to see how lawyer-proof this business model is. It is clearly insane. But the insanity was created by content providers and their own rules for appropriating rents from their content. What is certainly true is that any change to exclude Zediva will be accompanied by the standard anti-trust suit for abuse of monopoly power. It will be fun to watch.

One Response to "Copyright arbitrage"
  1. I vaguely recall that, during the heady days of web 1.0, an internet company offered a personal video recorder service.  You selected, on their website, the TV programs you wished to record  and they then videoed them and set you the videotape (or was it DVD) in the mail.
    Obviously things have come a long way since then.
     

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